NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) -  The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) called upon U.S. businesses this week to recognize the inevitable transformation of successful business practices that require discarding reliance on conventional understanding of toxic chemical regulations. ASBC members include Association for Enterprise Opportunity, B Lab, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Business for Shared Prosperity, California Assoc. for Micro Enterprise Opportunity, Green America, Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Chamber of the South, Investors Circle, New Voice of Business, Responsible Wealth, and Social Enterprise Alliance.

The ASBC members understand the future market gains and financial benefits in supporting new legislation that fundamentally reforms the nation's chemical regulations; the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The ASBC welcomes the introduction yesterday of the Safe Chemicals Bill by Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), which provides an opportunity for the long overdue modernization of this country's obsolete chemical safety system.

"First and foremost we support updating TSCA because it is vital for protecting the health of people and the planet. We also believe it will have important benefits for us as a downstream user of chemicals through greater information and innovation, and as a consumer products company through the restoration of consumer trust in our industry," says Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder, Seventh Generation, an ASBC member.

"Today's astute business leaders are concerned about the health and business impacts that could arise if the products they use or sell contain toxic chemicals. They recognize that safer chemicals protect human and environmental health and cut the costs of regulation, hazardous waste storage and disposal, worker protection, health care costs, and future liabilities. Such steps make U.S. businesses more competitive in a global marketplace where protections from toxic chemicals are more stringent, opening up growing market opportunities," according to David Levine, co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council whose members' organizations represent more than 30,000 businesses, plus more than 150,000 individual members.

"Customer demand for products free of persistent and bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs) is already driving change in how we use chemicals. Safer chemicals reform will level the playing field and promote the use of safer alternatives," said Howard Williams, vice president, Construction Specialties.

"Consumer awareness of the interaction between toxic chemical exposure and health is growing. Consumers should be able to trust that the products they buy are safe. TSCA reform is essential for protecting the health of consumers, workers and children through a smarter, safer and preventative approach to chemical use in consumer products and in the workplace," says Gary Hirshberg, President and "CE-Yo" of Stonyfield Farm, Inc.

"No company that cares about its customers, coworkers and community wants to use toxic chemicals. New Belgium believes that the proper regulation of hazardous chemicals and incentives towards safer, eco-friendly chemicals will go a long way in increasing consumer confidence and trust among coworkers and communities, leading to a more positive business environment," says Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director at New Belgium Brewing Co.

The American Sustainable Business Council and the Business-NGO Working Group on Safer Chemicals and Sustainable Materials are working to bring the business leaders representing "downstream user" businesses to the dialogue on chemical policy reform.

Stonyfield Farm, Organic Valley, Seventh Generation, Catholic Healthcare West Icestone, Green Depot and scores of others have already joined the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign to support meaningful overhaul of TSCA.

Fundamental Facts for TSCA Reform and Business

A growing number of business owners, executives, professionals and investors are urging a TSCA reform bill that provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to:

  • Require chemical manufacturers to develop and submit hazard, use, and exposure data on chemicals in commerce, and allow EPA to make such data readily available to the public.

  • Take immediate action to reduce the use of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals and other chemicals of very high concern.

  • Clearly identify chemicals of high and low concern to human and environmental health based on robust information.

  • Require greater disclosure of chemicals of high concern in products.

  • Promote and support transition to safer alternatives.

Resources

ASBC has issued a call for additional business leaders to voice their concerns in the Business Leaders sign on letter for the reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6269/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2048

For more information on the business case, see: The Business Case for Comprehensive TSCA Reform http://www.saferchemicals.org/resources/business.html

Safe Chemicals Act of 2010

Senate Bill

House Bill

Available for Interviews Contact: Stephenie Hendricks 415 258-9151 stephdh@earthlink.net

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder, Seventh Generation

Howard Williams ,vice-president, Construction Specialties

David Levine, co-founder, American Sustainable Business Council

Mark Rossi, coordinator, Business-NGO Working Group on Safer Chemicals and Sustainable Materials

Gary Hirshberg, President and "CE-Yo" of Stonyfield Farm, Inc.

Fran Teplitz, director of social investing and strategic outreach, Green America

Jim Flanagan, President, Nuance Solutions

Peter Strugatz, CEO, Icestone

Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director, New Belgium Brewing Co.

Contact Information:

Stephenie Hendricks 415 258-9151 stephdh@earthlink.net